Article Yes, he's 2-0, but the Saints will need more from Teddy Bridgewater (1 Viewer)

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METAIRIE, La. -- Is it possible for Teddy Bridgewater's 2-0 start as Drew Brees' replacement to be considered both remarkable and lackluster?

Well, yes, it has been remarkable when you consider the opponents he faced at Seattle and vs. Dallas.

And definitely when you factor in the uncharacteristic struggles of the New Orleans Saints' offensive line, which has helped the team lead the NFL with 20 offensive penalties the past three weeks.

So even though Bridgewater threw in a playful “sorry to fantasy teams and things like that” after the Saints’ 12-10 slugfest win over the Cowboys on Sunday, he doesn’t have to apologize for his lack of style points so far.

But he isn’t getting a free pass, either.

Bridgewater knows that at some point the Saints (3-1) will need more from him -- and perhaps he can start providing it this week at home against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that ranks 30th in the NFL in points allowed and 31st in passing yards allowed.

"He can play better -- and I think he would tell you the same thing," Saints coach Sean Payton said Sunday after his first victory in a game in which his team didn’t score a touchdown. “But he’s won two games in a row with understanding what we’re doing.

“He made some big plays for us [Sunday], and we’re gonna need him to. And I think he can improve. I think all of us can improve with the tempo.”

The Saints’ game plans have been fairly conservative the past two weeks to combat the crowd noise and rainy weather at Seattle and a difficult defense against Dallas. It helped that Bridgewater never trailed by more than three points in either start, thanks to the defense and special teams.

But chances are we won’t see another 12-10 game against a Tampa team that just beat the Los Angeles Rams 55-40 in L.A. on Sunday. When the Buccaneers (2-2) came into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Week 1 last season, they beat the Saints 48-40.

It’s possible that we could see the training wheels come off Bridgewater if this game plays out anything like those did.

…...

Bridgewater completed an efficient 23 of 30 passes for 193 yards in Sunday's victory while directing a game-defining field goal drive in the third and fourth quarters that lasted 9:06. It was the second-longest drive by any team in the NFL this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.


“I base everything around my past couple years,” said Bridgewater, who missed almost two full seasons after a devastating knee injury with the Minnesota Vikings in the summer of 2016. “The past couple years I had zero stats. The stat box said zero in every column. But the one stat that did add up for me the past couple years were the Ws. I was winning in life. So I approach the game with that mindset.

“Like, man, I’m not playing this game for numbers. I don’t care to impress anyone. Sorry to fantasy teams and things like that. But I play this game for those guys in that locker room, and we all come in here with one thing on our mind … winning games.

“I could care less about the numbers. I’ll leave the numbers to Mike Thomas, Alvin Kamara and those guys."

The Saints don’t need Bridgewater to do it all. They do have one of the NFL’s most talented and balanced rosters starting with Thomas and Kamara.

This approach is nothing new for the 26-year-old Bridgewater. The former first-round draft pick won a lot of games with this same style in Minnesota, leading the Vikings to an 11-5 record and the playoffs in his second NFL season in 2015. He ranked 32nd in the NFL that year with 6.62 air yards per attempt.

In both places, however, he earned the respect of his teammates for his ability to win and lead.

“Teddy did a great job [Sunday], just controlling the huddle. And it’s just awesome to see him continue to do what he was doing with Minnesota when I was with him, and he was just a leader,” said Saints fullback Zach Line, who also began his career with the Vikings.

“I was literally 5 feet from him when that [knee injury] happened,” Line said. “And to see the change in him as a person really from that happening is … you know, you’re never promised a next snap. You can say that, preach that, but until you go through that, it doesn’t really mean anything. So when he preaches that in the huddle, you just don’t take it for granted.

“I've seen where he came from. It was a bad, bad injury. For him to be back where he is, I’m super proud of him. It’s just special for me to see him back there doing what he does and doing it really well.”
The article also mentions that TB only turned the ball over once in three games and that was the pass to Ginn that should've been caught but got popped up into the air and picked off.

I'm all in for TB as long as Payton keeps opening up the playbook more and more each week. We won't be able to beat a Tampa team that just hung 55 on the Rams with field goals every time we make it into the red zone.

 
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Trey W.

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I know there is a lot of people criticizing Teddy and yes I am one of them. I think the main problem people are having is Teddy is a Veteran QB who is being paid very well to come in and keep this offense running like we’re used to seeing, but he hasn’t been able to do that. Sean shouldn’t have to baby
a Vet QB who’s been in this system for a full season and offseason. I do understand Teddy has played against 3 very good defenses so far but there will come a time when he can’t be Captain check down and will have to throw the ball to win the game.

I think Teddy has skills, I just don’t think his skills fit our offensive scheme. Our offense is built on reading defenses, knowing where your receivers are going to be, and timing. Teddy has not shown he can do those things. I feel Teddy is best when running a power run offense where he can hand the ball off then use some play action.

It also doesn’t help that rookie and young QB’s have been stepping up as replacements and doing well.
 

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Teddy played pretty well considering our OL kept putting him in a terrible position. Even Drew is going to struggle when we are always in 1st and 20 or 2nd and 15 because of a holding penalty or an unblocked rusher.

That said, Teddy needs to pick up the tempo. Our offense and OL is obviously tuned to the 'Brees frequency' which is somewhere up there where only dogs can hear it. Teddy's frequency is a lot slower. He's never going to be Drew in terms of moving in and out of the huddle and quick reads, but he needs to accelerate some. Hopefully that comes with more game time with the 1st team.
 

not2rich

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The article also mentions that TB only turned the ball over once in three games and that was the pass to Ginn that should've been caught but got popped up into the air and picked off.

I'm all in for TB as long as Payton keeps opening up the playbook more and more each week. We won't be able to beat a TYampa team that just hung 55 on the Rams with field goals every time we make it into the red zone.

On the flip side, Goff threw for over 500 yards but turned the ball over four times. If I'm not mistaken, Tampa turned every one of those turnovers into touchdowns.

Do I want to see more productivity and longer completions out of the passing game? Yes. But I also want to see turnovers kept to a minimum.
 
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insidejob

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On the flip side, Goff threw for over 500 yards but turned the ball over four times. If I'm not mistaken, Tampa turned every one of those turnovers into touchdowns.

Do I want to see more productivity and longer completions out of the passing game? Yes. But I also want to see turnovers kept to a minimum.
Couldn't agree more. I'm all behind TB going forward. I think Payton's game planning for him to be as successful as possible and that starts with ball security. A few shots downfield wouldn't hurt though.
 

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Couldn't agree more. I'm all behind TB going forward. I think Payton's game planning for him to be as successful as possible and that starts with ball security. A few shots downfield wouldn't hurt though.
I think I remember 3-4 plays that were designed to go downfield. Almost all of them Teddy didn’t pull the trigger. Twice Kamara down the sideline on basically the same play with the infamous no call on Tommy Lee, and once we ran motion, play action, and tried to sneak Cook across the field and up the sideline.
 

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I was just thinking today that Teddy has been doing exactly what they need out of him...ball control and very few mistakes. My biggest gripe with him is pocket awareness and how long he holds the ball. Yes I know he also throws high but that may be because he is still shaking off rust...not to mention his nerves. At least he is finding the right guy.

With the last 2 games the defense has been playing lights out and if they can keep doing that then I see no reason they can't win 4-5 out of the 6 games that Brees might be out . However if the defense slips or we fall behind...I have little faith that Teddy can play catch-up.
 

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As usual, Triplett is on point. Teddy has done some good things in the last two games, but now it's time for him and the O to take it up a notch. We're not going to win many more games without scoring touchdowns, and we can't count on ST and defensive TDs. Red zone production has to improve.
 

Brennan77

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I just don't see how anyone can judge given the last two games we've played. One was on the road vs Seattle in the rain. Do we think Drew would have done much differently? The other was against a Dallas team with a legitimately good defense against which we struggled mightily last year. Drew's performance in that game? 127 yards with a game killing interception. Context is important.

Also, have we not really been watching the Saints over the last year or so? This is what the offense looks like for many of the games, even with Brees. He had 9 games with less than 250 yards passing last year. We are a different and more calculated ball control offense right now.
 

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Teddy has been adequate. He needs to continue to improve and Payton needs to cut him loose a little. The O-line needs to get in sync and contribute better. Holding calls are killing drives. And we don't have the margin for error like the Ginn and Hill drops.

Dallas has a tough defense. That defense held Brees to 18-28, 127 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT just last year.

Tampa is ranked near the bottom in passing yards given up. I hope Payton attacks that weakness.
 

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I'm a big supporter of TB....but I don't think anyone in their right mind should be calling for him to be benched for TH....and I think that anyone who doesn't think at this point that it is so far so good situation is also being irrational....

That article should be entitled "I was talking to Captain Obvious about Teddy today and he said....."

Of course we need more from Teddy and he needs to improve...I think he will....and remember Teddy is not the only part of the offense that needs to improve...the offensive line needs to be better and his receivers not named MT and TE's need to be better....
 

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Don't lose faith in Teddy - he has talent, and a desire to win. Remember, before the Seattle game, Brees had started every Saints win since 2005. It is easy to underestimate how difficult it is for the offense to transition to a new guy under center - different snap count, different location in the pocket, different timing on throws - everything is different. It will take time for the offense (and the coaches) to feel comfortable with him. Yes, Teddy is playing tentatively right now - but he is getting more confident each week. I, for one, am very happy we found a way to keep him on the roster this year.
 

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The article also mentions that TB only turned the ball over once in three games and that was the pass to Ginn that should've been caught but got popped up into the air and picked off.

I'm all in for TB as long as Payton keeps opening up the playbook more and more each week. We won't be able to beat a Tampa team that just hung 55 on the Rams with field goals every time we make it into the red zone.

The title of the article states, "but the Saints will need more from Teddy Bridgewater."

Will the Saints NEED more? Is that an absolute? Idk, but they said we'd need more from him than we got in the Seattle game because we couldn't depend on a ST touchdown and Defense TD every game to win. We got less offensive point production against the Cowboys and Teddy had an interception - and we won. If the Saints O line plays a little better with less penalties PLUS Ginn and Hill don't drop their passes, then I believe we would have had "more" from Teddy in the Cowboys game.
 

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Its my opinion only, maybe just a guess or supposition, but……

I believe if Drew's injury had been season ending we would be seeing a wholly different TB than we are now. I think he would have been given more latitude and LOS decision making and would have been put into more of a sink or swim scenerio.

BUT, Drew did not suffer that type of injury and so the expectations for TB as the backup changed from "taking over" to "keep us in the mix". I believe he is following his instructions as best he can, but it is probably hampering him to a greater or lesser extent. I think he has a very good chance of paving the way for Drew to return with an unbeleavable chance to take it all the way (fingers, toes, & eyes crossed)! But I also truly believe we have not been availed the opportunity to see what TB might be able to actually do, I don't believe we have seen the whole Teddy Bridgewater. I can't say if he would have lit it up week after week or would have crashed and burned, but I have to give him kudos for being a complete team player! Who knows, we have 4 more games and maybe he will be let off the leash a little and will be able to show us more of what the coaches seem to see in him. Regardless, I will be forever grateful to him if he keeps us with 3 or less losses when Drew gets back.
 
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Teddy played pretty well considering our OL kept putting him in a terrible position. Even Drew is going to struggle when we are always in 1st and 20 or 2nd and 15 because of a holding penalty or an unblocked rusher.

That said, Teddy needs to pick up the tempo. Our offense and OL is obviously tuned to the 'Brees frequency' which is somewhere up there where only dogs can hear it. Teddy's frequency is a lot slower. He's never going to be Drew in terms of moving in and out of the huddle and quick reads, but he needs to accelerate some. Hopefully that comes with more game time with the 1st team.
I honestly think that the real issue is, the wide receiver on the right side is not getting it done..and now that LJH has been activated, I am hoping that he will become an active part of the offense, and begin catching say 4 passes a game on the right side...and if he does, I suggest that the entire offense will open up...taking heat off of Can't Guard Mike, and off
Jared Cook...and even making it easier for Kamara....lets see what happens going forward...
 

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